Monday, April 1, 2013
With cones on the last day, they run the order of entries from last place to first. By moving up one placing in the standings we were scheduled to go right in the middle and then after that you wait around and they bring all of the training level entries (VSE, pony, horse, pairs, etc.) back into the ring to hand out the ribbons.
Our warm up was done out in the muddy area and the vet check- OTM (on the move) was done in the squishy, rutted grass of the holding area. Because the footing was so bad in there, I wasn't pushing him to do much more than expected and even at that, our circles were not all that great. He was sound though and there was no stiffness or soreness from his effort the day before so we were good to go. Watching the one gentleman in our class- he took a slightly different route in the cones and I believe he might have been the fastest on the course for the day. He did it in 3:24 with no time penalties, no balls down.
When it was our turn, Kat and I went in and knocked it out. There were a few places that the grass was deeply rutted crossing our intended route and again, Kat became a jumper as well as a driving pony and bounced his way around the course. He tried a few times to break into a canter and quickly brought it back down with a few words of discouragement from me. That could wait until we were done and he knows it. As usual we flew thru the cones and it was over before you know it. We flashed through the finish line and Kat loped towards the gate out of the arena. He had been whinnying his way through the course, but it wasn't as much or as loudly as he had done in dressage. For our efforts, we were double clear- no balls down, no time penalties.
Standing around waiting for the rest of the training level ponies, then horses to go, Kat was getting antsy. He wanted to do something. I took him out back to the warm up area and let him run. He made several laps going one direction, then several more going the other direction... As long as he didn't get too racy or stupid on me, he could keep going. He wasn't tired or worn out, but he was a lot more relaxed when I slowed him down to the trot again. Little man has got some serious staying power, since most of the other ponies and horses were happy to be standing around and resting for the most part.
Later I checked the scores and we were 2nd fastest for training level, single pony in the cones. We had done it in 3:44. The other times in our division were 3:47, 3:48 and 4:00. We had locked in our 3rd place position overall.